My Sitting Down Place

26 Mar

Thursday 26 March 2020

Acknowledgement of Country

St Oswald’s acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations as the sovereign custodians of the land on which the church stands. St Oswald’s respectfully recognises Elders past, present and future 

Good morning and welcome to the Wominjeka Reconciliation Garden at St Oswald’s Anglican Church Glen Iris for today’s “Thought from the Garden”.

Today’s reading is a poem by Aboriginal poet Gail Kay called my “My Sitting Down Place”.

I go down to the creek 

Where the water gurgles 

Joyfully 

As it hurries along 

Over the shining sand and pebbles 

To its destiny 

With the sea. 

Dappled sunlight 

Flits and moves 

Across the water, over the creek bank, 

And the birds sing happily 

To the accompaniment 

Of insects and crickets. 

I sit in silence as I soak it all into my soul. 

Peace flows 

From the water 

To my heart. 

Whatever life brings me 

I now can face 

Because of this, 

My sitting down place! 

( Source: My Sitting Down Place – Creative Spirits, retrieved from https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/arts/poems/my-sitting-down-place.”

One of the fears at the heart of people in this moment of crisis relates to existence. Do I exist if I am no longer doing, no longer meddling in the lives of others, no longer feeling of use? Much of the tasks we do have little purpose other than to show people that we are busy, that we deserve recognition and need to be kept around.

Amid this busyness, many have lost sight of self, not the ego-self, that is very evident. They have lost sight of their essential self in the busyness of so-called productive lives. How much of what we do will be missed by others in this time of shutdown?

I have noted that people are committed to keeping busy setting schedules for “normal” activities and duties. They are committed to sustaining life as normal as possible, but what is normal and is what we have been doing the normal we should be doing?

What we need now is an extensive period in our sitting down place to discover what we value, what is essential and cannot be done without, and what is not. In our sitting down place, let us listen and learn to deeply listen to the universe. Then to hear, not the noise in our heads, but the still small voice asking us to let go of activity and be. When we do, we will find our reflections taking us deeper into our sitting down place, which becomes embedded in our deeper selves.

This is the practice of whin-nga-rra – the practice of listening, hearing and reflecting.

Let us stop and be still and practice it now.

Silence

Let us take a moment to relax and be still, reflecting on what the phrase once more may mean for us.

Thank you. Let us close with a blessing:

Go, walk gently on country in the name of the God of Holy Dreaming, and of Jesus Christ our elder and of the Creator Spirit. Amen.

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